Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Marines ace Wakui improves to 4-0

Kyodo

Hideaki Wakui won his fourth straight start as the Chiba Lotte Marines prevailed 9-2 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Wakui (4-0), the Pacific League leader in victories, allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks over six innings, striking out five, while Rakuten’s Jacob Brigham hit three batsmen, all leading to runs.

Brigham allowed seven runs — six earned — on seven hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out five. The Eagles fell to third in the PL standings with the loss.

Brigham hit a batter for the second time with one out in the sixth with the game tied 2-2, and allowed a double to Alfredo Despaigne before Katsuya Kakunaka hit a tie-breaking single. Daichi Suzuki followed suit with a single to drive in two.

“I thought I was going to get some jeers from today’s starting pitcher (Wakui) if I didn’t hit, so I focused on getting at least one run in,” Kakunaka said.

In the seventh, Lotte had runners on first and third with one out following a single and another hit batsman from Brigham.

Tadahito Iguchi’s sacrifice fly plated the sixth run, and an error from third baseman Zealous Wheeler on a high pop-up from Despaigne led to another run in Brigham’s last inning.

The trend continued with reliever Yuri Furukawa in the eighth, who hit his first batter before giving up a two-run homer to Shogo Nakamura with two outs.

Buffaloes 1, Fighters 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix won back-to-back for the first time this season behind Sachiya Yamasaki’s (1-0) six shutout innings.

Yoshio Itoi hit a solo shot in the fourth off Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Anthony Bass (0-3) for the lone run.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Tigers 5, BayStars 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin’s Taiga Egoshi hit a tie-breaking double in the sixth off Yokohama’s Shota Imanaga (0-3).

Tigers starter Randy Messenger (2-1) held the visitors to a run over eight innings.

Carp 10, Dragons 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yoshihiro Maru hit a third-inning, two-run homer off Chunichi’s Ryosuke Oguma (2-1) to turn the game around for the Carp, who won their fourth straight to move into a tie for the league lead.

Kris Johnson (2-1) allowed one unearned run in seven innings.

Swallows 6, Giants 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Wladimir Balentien tied the game in the sixth with a solo shot before doubling in the winning run in the seventh off Yomiuri’s Tetsuya Yamaguchi (0-1).